What Your Insurance May Cover When It Comes to Water Damage
Flooded facility in Johnson City,TN
If you’re facing water damage due to a flood, a storm, or another reason, you may be wondering what part of the damage falls under your insurance coverage in Johnson City, TN. Knowing the details of your policy can be important for something like this. Here is some information you may wish to know.
While the exact nature of your policy depends on your insurance plan, location, and carrier, there are a few things that can be found in most basic homeowner insurance packages. These can include:
- Fixing a leaking pipe before a major breakage occurs
- Pipe breakages from an unpreventable accident
- Subsequent damage to other parts of the home caused by the water
- Professional services needed to clean, dry and repair damage after a flood
It’s important to know what exactly is in your policy in case you feel extra coverage is necessary.
An insurance company may provide additional policies for water damage that occur outside the normal events of a home. These usually include natural disasters, such as flood or extreme storms. Damage that occurs from raising water levels is typically considered flooding and is usually covered by these policies.
Certain services may not be covered. This is why it’s best to know what’s in your policy and to talk to an insurance professional about the coverage you need. These circumstances could include negligence, such as knowingly failing to fix a broken pipe before it floods, or damage caused by storm or natural flooding, which is usually covered by another policy.
In many cases, insurance coverage can include the damage that occurs after a flood or the services needed to fix a broken pipe. However, it’s best to know what is in your policy beforehand and to acquire any extra coverage you feel you may need before water damage occurs.
Understanding Water Categorization
Flood water presents a serious risk to people, and when it reaches category three, black water, it should be avoided.
As a property owner in the Johnson City, TN, you may have to deal with several water issues. While a toilet overflow is a simple issue to deal with, in this area you’ll probably have to deal with problems involving flood water. Flooding can cause not only significant property damage, but it also poses a potential health risk as well, and being a property owner in this area you should become familiar with the different levels of water classification.
1. Sanitary Water
Category one water is considered sanitary water. This water is the safest water to drink, cook with, and bathe with. Sanitary water is also commonly referred to as clear water, which is a reference to its appearance and an indicator that it is clean, meaning that it has not been contaminated by other sources.
2. Gray Water
Gray Water, category two, is not sanitary and can pose a risk of illness if you come into contact or consume this water. Typically, this water occurs in the event of appliance or toilet overflow, which means that it is contaminated by chemicals and sewage.
3. Black Water
Black water, category three, is the most dangerous of all waters and is likely the result of flood water. This water is formed by a mixture of rising rivers and overflowing sewers. With the high level of contaminants in this water, it is also toxic to humans and animals, causing illness and potential fatality if ingested. If you’re building is submerged in black water, it is best to avoid it and allow professionals to do the final cleanup process.
Flood water presents a serious risk to people, and when it reaches category three, black water, it should be avoided. As a business owner, you should be aware of the various levels of water categorization to ensure both your safety and the safety of your tenants. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.
How to Take Care of Your Pump
A basement can shield you from a storm by giving you an enclosed space away from large windows.
A basement can shield you from a storm by giving you an enclosed space away from large windows. The basement in your home in Johnson City, TN, needs protection from the storm itself, though. A working sump pump helps remove water from your basement when it floods, which can lower the cost of water damage repair services. To keep your pump working so it can extract water from your home, you must commit to regular pump maintenance. Here are some tips for taking care of your pump.
1. Clean the intake screen regularly. About once every quarter, your intake screen needs to be cleaned. Remove any gunk or debris so that it doesn't get clogged.
2. Clear debris out of pipe and pit. If the pump has had to extract water from the basement, it may have gravel or other debris in the pit near the floater or in the discharge pipe. By clearing these areas, you ensure that floodwater has an open passage to the area where you want it distributed.
3. Test your sump pump monthly. Testing is merely a matter of creating the situation the pump is designed to combat. Fill a bucket with water and pour it into the basin to see if the float mechanism activates the pump like it should.
4. Confirm that the unit has power. The cord to the power supply should be checked periodically for defects and replaced if anything looks suspicious. Make sure the pump is plugged in.
5. Maintain backup power supply. It is a good idea to have a backup power supply for your pump. If it is backed up by a battery, make sure you replace the battery at least every two years, even if you haven't had to use it.
Your basement may be prone to flooding, but a sump pump can help move some of the water our and give you peace of mind. Take care of your pump, and it will take care of your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.
4 Reasons to Hold Off on Mold Testing Kits
Choosing the best option for mold testing is essential for planning treatment.
Mold testing is a vital part of figuring out where mold is so you can act to remove it from your Johnson City, TN, home. You may consider buying a mold kit, but those have a number of flaws that make them unreliable. Here are four reasons why DIY mold tests are inferior compared to the alternatives.
1. They Don’t Give Much Information
A mold sample only tells you that there is mold at your home. It doesn’t inform you of the species or location. You may also be oblivious to any potential water problems feeding the mold.
While it can be used to verify that there is a fungus in your home, you need more information to know if it could cause property damage and is worth removing.
2. They Are Scientifically Questionable
These mold testing kits are Petri dishes that give a place for a mold sample to grow. There is no comparison control sample to compare what’s in the air versus where you sampled.
Additionally, any that offer a service to send them off for evaluation involves sending them through the mail. Depending on shipping, the kit’s receipt could take days. This potentially taints the sample due to heat or package mishandling.
3. They Are Not Effective for Every Infestation
Dead or airborne mold spores will not show up in a test with a mold kit. Different species may settle more easily on the testing dish, so the tests tend to have dominant growths. With the other types overshadowed, you could miss finding a specific mold infestation.
4. They Don’t Compare to Professionals
An environmental hygienist has the commercial tools and methodology necessary to find all mold and identify problematic locations. Mold is almost unavoidable in your home, but only certain infestations need treatment. An expert mold damage restoration company can act on these findings to remove the mold growth and its cause.
Choosing the best option for mold testing is essential for planning treatment. By understanding these reasons against DIY mold products, you can make the right choice to protect your home. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.
Which Contents Can Be Cleaned After a Flood?
After a flood in Johnson City, TN business and commercial property owners may be curious about which contents can be cleaned and which will need to be discarded and replaced. Nonporous materials tend to be able to withstand the process of content cleaning, but exposure to black water may irreparably damage porous materials.
Can Porous Materials Be Cleaned?
Several types of porous materials call for special cleaning methods or may not be able to be cleaned:
• Carpets and carpet pads
• Upholstered furniture
Porous materials absorb contaminated floodwater and may be difficult or impossible to clean. Leaving these contents intact may increase the likelihood of microbial exposure or mold growth and lead to undesirable odors.
Content Cleaning Methods
Some porous materials can be cleaned using the following methods:
• Abrasive cleaning involves agitating the surfaces of contents
• Dry cleaning is an effective method of pretreating contents or cleaning delicate materials
• Foam cleaning may be suitable for upholstery to avoid shrinkage
• Immersion cleaning involves dipping items into a cleaning solution
• Spray and wipe cleaning is suitable for items that cannot withstand wet cleaning
• Wet cleaning can help to remove heavier residues
It is a good idea to consult with content restoration experts as soon as possible after flooding occurs. There could be some cases in which these experts may be able to salvage a rug or remove the upholstery and stuffing from furniture and reupholster the item. Other items, such as mattresses, may not stand up to any of these methods and should be replaced.
How To Hire Cleaning Experts
A commercial restoration firm in Johnson City, TN can provide content cleaning services and help owners ensure that the structures of their properties are safe following a flood. Restoration experts may be able to limit the extent of secondary damage caused by black water and make it possible for more contents to be restored. Visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com for more information on storm damage.
Three Steps To Minimize Damage Due to Leaks in Your Home
One of the most common sources of home damage in Johnson City, TN is a slow leak that doesn't get the attention it deserves. Did you know that a faucet leak under the kitchen sink can lead to hundreds of gallons of wasted water in a single day? The estimated costs of even average leaks can total a couple hundred dollars a year per leak. If you've found a leak under your kitchen sink, act fast to minimize the damage of flooding.
Act Fast to Prevent Serious Damages
• Shut off the water at the shutoff valve. There may be a valve located under the kitchen sink. If you have a basement, the home's main shutoff valve is probably there. Otherwise, check in the crawlspace or near your water heater.
• Call the insurance company. If you have leaks, flooding, or standing water in the home, there's a potential for significant damages. The insurance company may cover the costs of hiring professionals to complete repairs or to take steps to ensure that long-lasting water damage doesn't cause further trouble.
• Call restoration professionals. If you catch the leak quickly enough, you may be able to handle any necessary kitchen repair on your own. However, if the leak has been happening for several days or weeks, you'll want the expert attention of flooding remediation professionals. These experts have the tools and training to locate leaks, recognize the signs of further damage, and completely dry building materials, so your home and family aren't exposed to further damages.
Protect Your Home and Family
Your home may be one of your most significant investments and even minor leaks can pose a serious risk to the well-being of the building. Learn to recognize the signs of hidden leaks and keep the phone number of your plumber or water restoration professional on hand. When you do notice signs of trouble, use these three simple steps to avoid further, expensive damages. Visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com for more information on water damage.
Who to Hire After a Business Fire
After your building has been affected by fire, there will be a lot of fire and smoke damage, as well as water damage from the firefighters' work. At this point, you'll have many decisions to make. Naturally, you'll want to turn to some experts whose advice is relevant to your situation.
• Your insurance company should be one of the first calls you make. The company will probably send a professional, such as an insurance adjuster, to assess damages and provide you with coverage information.
• Contact a fire damage restoration company. The sooner these professionals can begin correcting the damage to your business, the better off you'll be.
• You'll naturally want to check in with employees, vendors, and customers to let them know what your plans are during the reconstruction period.
Sometimes, business owners consider hiring multiple agencies to handle their cleaning and restoration work. For example, they may plan to hire a water or fire mitigation company to contain the fire damage and then hire a restoration company to complete repairs. Should you hire two sets of professionals?
Mitigation vs. Restoration
As you decide how to proceed, you should understand that mitigation companies focus on preventing further losses. They may board up windows, take steps to control mold, and work on removing any remaining water. However, they don't repair damaged property and they don't treat lasting effects, such as mold.
Restoration companies may or may not be able to handle mitigation. Their focus would then turn to necessary repairs and rebuilding. They'll replace structures that have been damaged beyond saving and put an end to mold growth and smoke damages.
Which Is Best for You?
Ask your insurance adjuster whether you have coverage for both services; some do. However, many in Johnson City, TN don't. Also, you may find that choosing a company that can handle both types of work resulting from fire damage is a more efficient way to restore your building and get back to business. Visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com for more information on fire damage.
Adding Storm Shutters to a Home
Storm shutters can protect you and the interior of your home from flying glass and debris in the midst of a storm.
When nature is at its most wrathful in Johnson City, TN, high winds are often responsible for property damage. Installing window protection can be a prudent investment to protect your home and its contents. Learning about the window types available is the first step toward making an appropriate purchase for your needs.
Know Your Options
Shutters designed to be a temporary application when gales are predicted are the least expensive and least aesthetically-pleasing option. Permanent ones can be costly but add design interest and practical functions. Shutter styles include:
• Temporary: These are made of steel, aluminum, or polycarbonate and are held in place by channels bolted onto the house above and below windows. Channels are removable, and the cost is usually less than $20 per window.
• Accordion: These are permanent, manually operated, and stored in boxes alongside windows when they are not in use. Made of polycarbonate or metal, they usually cost between $15 and $25 per square foot.
• Rolling: These are also permanent and have the added benefit of offering insulation and increased privacy as well as protection from high winds. Made of polycarbonate or high-quality steel, they can be manually or automatically activated. Prices range from $20-$30 per square foot.
• Bahama: These offer shade and privacy as well as storm protection. They range from $15 to $20 per square foot.
• Colonial style: These are both permanent and decorative. Depending on window size, the shutters can be tri-fold or bi-fold. They are bolted into place when needed and range in price from $200 to $500 per window, depending on size and material.
Storm shutters can protect you and the interior of your home from flying glass and debris in the midst of a storm. However, in the event that high winds damage your home, professionals can help with interior and exterior damage and cleanup once the storm has passed. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.
3 Tips for Reducing the Risk of Space Heater Fires
Knowing how to use a space heater safely is important to protect your family from the threat of a burned space heater or a devastating fire.
Using space heaters can be a convenient way to keep certain areas of your Johnson City, TN, home cozy, especially those that do not receive enough heat from the furnace or are located on an outer ground floor. While these units can be handy, they might also increase the risk of a fire and a burned space heater. Keeping a few safety tips in mind can help you reduce the possibility of space heater fires and ensure your family’s well-being.
1. Give the Unit Space
One of the most common causes of space heater fires is putting heaters in an area where they do not have enough room for proper heat flow. This can cause the unit to overheat and start a fire. Putting a heater in an enclosed space can also cause objects around it to catch fire, such as bedding, clothing and other fabrics. The risk is usually highest in the bedroom, where blankets and stuffed toys can fall off the bed and onto the heater and spark a blaze. A fire and smoke cleanup service can advise you about the best placement for your space heater.
2. Ground the Plug at a Wall Outlet
Most space heaters are designed to operate from one electrical socket. As such, plugging them into an extension cord or a multi-socket power strip may cause them to overheat. This may start at the plug itself, which can melt it or the cord. Overheating at the power source may also cause a power surge, which can result in a burned space heater or a fire.
3. Set Your Heater on a Stable Surface
When you first buy a space heater, it is important that you read all instructions and set your unit on a stable surface instead of a table or other object. If the surface is unstable, the unit can be knocked over and come into contact with flammable objects.
Space heaters can make your Johnson City, TN, home comfortable. However, knowing how to use them safely is important to protect your family from the threat of a burned space heater or a devastating fire. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.
Fighting Mold in the Lunchroom Fridge
Once you remove the fridge mold, it should be safe to return new food to the unit.
Company lunchrooms often have a fridge full of containers of unknown casseroles, vegetables, and desserts. These same refrigerators are often receptacles for leftover lunches of Chinese food, overlooked yogurt cartons, and curdled cream for coffee. The problem with forgotten food in the communal icebox is that fridge mold can develop. Sadly, with fungus growing inside the fridge, a yeasty, mold smell can also develop and spread into the breakroom. The following steps can help you remove the mold once it appears in the lunchroom refrigerator.
1. Empty the fridge. Toss all the containers, bags, and boxes of food into the garbage because they are probably contaminated with mold spores. If there is more than one fridge in the office, transfer frozen and perishable food items until cleanup is complete.
2. Make or purchase a mold remover. If you are making the cleaning solution, try mixing two cups of warm water and one cup of white vinegar. Mix ingredients in a spray bottle. Warning: Do not use bleach because it is too abrasive on the inside walls of the refrigerator.
3. Scrub inside the icebox and remove the fridge mold. After donning a safety mask, spray the inside walls and shelves of the refrigerator. Spray any mold colonies liberally. Remove the mold and cleaning spray with a wet cloth or sponge. If mold is severe, contact a mold removal team in Johnson City, TN, to eliminate the fungus.
4. Reapply the cleaning solution to the inside of the fridge. Although it may appear the mold is gone, spores can easily hide in plain sight. By cleaning all surfaces a second time, you can be sure to remove the spores and the mold smell as you continue disinfecting the fridge.
Once you remove the fridge mold, it should be safe to return new food to the unit. However, to make sure the mold doesn’t return, check for food that needs to be discarded on a weekly basis. By rotating the food inside the refrigerator, you can make sure your lunchroom is mold free. For more information, visit http://www.SERVPROwashingtoncountytn.com/.